Stroke innovation paves way for COVID 19 Clinical Guidelines

Stroke Foundation is excited to have paved the way for world-first “living guidelines” to help clinicians manage the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Technology and processes Stroke Foundation has developed and piloted with Cochrane Australia as part of a Living Guidelines for Stroke Management pilot project have been adapted. Learnings and expertise from the pilot will now be utilised to provide best practice guidelines to support doctors and nurses across the country in managing this virus.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan hailed the system as a potential life-saver.

“Our clinicians are currently working long hours in an extremely challenging environment and do not have the capacity to read and interpret rapidly emerging COVID-19 research and observational data,” Ms McGowan said.

“We are leveraging Australian expertise in clinical guideline development to now provide a single source of trustworthy, up-to-date advice about critical aspects of COVID-19 clinical management and care.

“When the living guidelines model was adopted last year as a pilot case for stroke, we knew it had the potential to be adapted for other medical conditions because of its ability to translate health evidence in near-real time.

“It is a next generation solution and it is needed now more than ever, because of its speed, providing health professionals with the information they need when they need it on an easily accessible web-based application,” she said.

The Living Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management draw on latest evidence synthesis technologies developed by Cochrane Australia, partners and world-leading software platforms (Covidence and MAGICapp).

Living guidelines ensure clinical recommendations are streamlined, up to date and accessible when and where they are needed. They empower health professionals to deliver evidenced based treatment and care nationally to save lives and improve outcomes.

Ms McGowan said the COVID-19 pandemic challenge loomed large, but the development of this National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce to deliver living guidelines was an important step forward.

“All Australians deserve the best health care possible,” Ms McGowan said.

“These guidelines will ensure there is reliable, evidence-based health care for people with suspected or proven infection and will give health professionals on the front line the information they need to respond effectively during this health crisis. There is no time to lose.”

The model has the potential for worldwide adaptation and paves the way for future innovation for a range of healthcare conditions. Stroke Foundation is part of the Australian Living Evidence Consortium, a collaboration bringing together experts in evidence synthesis, guideline development and digital technologies to build a revolutionary new system for delivering reliable, accessible, up-to-date evidence in health.

Living Guidelines flow chart

Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management

The three year Stroke Living Guidelines pilot project is a partnership between the Stroke Foundation and Cochrane Australia, and is supported by the Australian government’s Medical Research Future Fund. It involves a working group of more than 100 stroke experts and stroke survivors.

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